The Dallas Cowboys continue to demonstrate that they feel things would have been much different in 2015 had it not been the year of the injury bug. As they have done with several other of the free agents that were on last season's roster, the Dallas front office has come to terms with running back Lance Dunbar. Having the jitterbug back on the roster gives the offense a chance to show a completely different look than what they show with the other backs on the roster. When he is able to stay healthy Dunbar can inflict damage on an opposing defense. The trick has been in keeping him healthy.
After talking for more than a year about the need to get Dunbar more involved, the coaching staff finally did just that in 2015. He caught 21 passes out of the backfield for 215 yards and was the team's leading receiver after four games. He carried the ball five times for 67 yards in that span, including breaking one for 45 yards. He was the biggest threat the Cowboys had after Dez Bryant went down in the season opener.
The move would not be any more popular than it was the last time around, but the longer things go without Greg Hardy signing elsewhere, could there still be a chance he returns? We may not like the thoughts, but there are compelling reasons for the two sides to work out something that would be mutually beneficial to both parties. Bringing back Hardy is a good business move if the price is right.
The Cowboys desperately need to improve their pass rush, and bringing Hardy back on a one-year, incentive-laden deal is the best way to do that. Reality says quarterback Tony Romo has a finite number of years left in his career, and Jerry Jones certainly doesn't want to waste one of them with yet another season with an abject pass rush.
The Cowboys are not setting back and hoping that they can get another bargain basement price on Hardy by any means. Jerry Jones is still doing some shopping around. Restricted free agent defensive end Benson Mayowa of the Oakland Raiders is someone that the pro scouts are high on. The biggest obstacle the team will face is in being able to poach him away from Oakland. It all boils down to what the Raiders are willing to do. They have the cap space to easily keep him is silver and black. Do they like him as much as the Cowboys do? That is an answer we will see soon.
The Raiders have more than $20 million in cap space available, so it is difficult seeing how the structure of a deal could be too much for Oakland. Mayowa has just two career sacks, and it's even harder to see the Cowboys money-whipping to get a deal done too.
If the Cowboys land Mayowa, it won't be because of the structure of the deal. It will be because the Raiders wanted to spend their resources elsewhere.
The Cowboys have not done a lot in free agency, but there are still some guys out there with good upside and the price for acquiring that talent gets a little better as each day passes. Nobody on the list is a long term solution for any of the team's needs but the DMN staff has put together a list of some players who can come in and make some immediate improvements at positions of need.
It is fairly reasonable that the Dallas Cowboys are going to take a running back and a quarterback in the next draft, we just don't know what round. Sturm gets things started by taking a look at Utah's Devontse Booker. He is not the flashiest or most talented back out there, but Booker is a blue collar guy who does a lot of things well. Booker looks like he might be a good mid-draft investment and if age concerns and a knee injury force him into round four he will be a steal.
...if Dallas wants a college back who is all-purpose and won't have quite the price tag of Elliott or Henry, this player might fit the description pretty well. He is one in a group of candidates for Rounds 3-4 and Booker could give Dallas something it clearly doesn't have right now: a patient runner with vision and acceleration with a awesome ability to pass-catch out in space, too.
Connor Cook is not the passer that is going to get fans excited about his prospects as the heir, but he is someone who comes from a winning culture and who could get the job done if needed. He will be having a private workout with the team.
Cook is regarded as a potential first- or second-round draft prospect but there are some concerns about his leadership.
Sean Lee made his first visit to the Pro Bowl after the 2015 season. The Dallas linebacker did so after fighting his way back from an injury that cost him the entire 2014 season. The work that Lee put in to get himself back to full strength for the season and the leadership he displayed even while unable to join his teammates on the gridiron was rewarded when those players voted Lee as the Cowboys Ed Brock Award winner.
Lee withstood a rigorous rehab to get back on the field. The Cowboys slowly worked him back into action in the offseason to make sure he would be ready to go in training camp. He missed two games during the season, including the season finale because of a hamstring strain that cost him a chance to earn an extra $2 million toward his 2016 base salary.
I doubt anyone would dispute that Lee more than earned the recognition than did Sean Lee.
Might as well end things on a humorous note.